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Scott creates scholarship in memory of press secretary killed in boating accident

Scholarship named for Jeri Bustamante to be awarded to Miami Beach High grad

Gov. Rick Scott has established a scholarship in honor of former press secretary Jeri Bustamante.
Gov. Rick Scott has established a scholarship in honor of former press secretary Jeri Bustamante.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott has created a memorial scholarship in the name of his former press secretary, who died in a boating accident earlier this year.

Scott on Thursday announced the creation of the Jereima Bustamante Memorial Scholarship, to be awarded to a "first-generation college student" and graduate of Miami Beach Senior High School.

The scholarship is in honor of Jeri Bustamante, who attended Miami Beach Senior High School and went on to graduate from Miami Dade College and later Florida International University before becoming Scott's press secretary in 2014.

Bustamante, 33, was killed April 8 when the boat on which she was a passenger crashed into some mangroves in Islamorada.

Gov. Rick Scott and first lady Ann Scott pose for a holiday photograph with press secretary Jeri Bustamante.
Gov. Rick Scott and first lady Ann Scott pose for a holiday photograph with press secretary Jeri Bustamante.

"It is our hope that the recipient of this scholarship will be able to follow in Jeri's footsteps, by attending a community college for two years and any Florida public university for two years following," Scott said in a letter to parents and students at Miami Beach Senior High School.

Scott, who cannot serve again because of term limits, is the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Democrat Bill Nelson.